British Telecommunications (BT) and the British Asian Trust announced a three-year programme to empower India’s youth, specifically adolescent girls. The programme aims to maximise the available opportunities for young girls between the ages of 10 and 19 by using apps, videos and other interactive digital technologies to empower young people as a way to encourage potential.
Four core themes—education, employability, health choices, and autonomy—have been identified as potential areas for growth. Above all, this partnership aims to utilise and reveal technology’s role in breaking social barriers, encouraging India’s youth to develop skills for a healthy and empowered future.
Many of the 120 million adolescent girls living in India lack control over their futures. Statistics show that India has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the world, and 27 per cent of women between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before the age of 18. In terms of education, 18 per cent of young girls drop out of school before completing their secondary education.
‘The British Asian Trust and BT recognise that this is not just about opportunity—it’s about encouraging young people to recognise their potential, with a focus on young women. Working in and around some of India’s largest urban centres, near to BT operations in Gurugram, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata, the programme aims to help improve the education opportunities, health and skills of around 500,000 young people, giving them greater control over their futures.’
Chosen in partnership, four organisations will help implement this program, including Breakthrough, IT for Change, Going to School, and Splash.
Philip Jansen, BT Group Chief Executive comments, ‘The world of work has changed enormously during the 30 years BT has been in India. We recognise that digital technologies have the potential to transform opportunities for this and future generations of girls. We’re delighted to be partnering with the British Asian Trust to deliver sustainable social impacts, and hope to galvanise our team of 10,500 BT people based in India to support this programme.’
Chief Executive of the British Asian Trust, Richard Hawkes, adds, ‘At the British Asian Trust, We pride ourselves on taking an innovative approach to tackling development challenges. Brokering partnerships and promoting economic development through scalable solutions is at the heart of what we do. We’re delighted to find a partner in BT who shares this vision and excited to be working together with them on a programme that will directly improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of adolescent girls across India.’
For more information, view the full press release here.